Horse Racing Ireland’s Horse of the Year awards

Hurricane Fly, who set a world record for Grade 1 or Group 1 victories when achieving his 17th top-level success at Punchestown last month, has been crowned Horse of the Year at Horse Racing Ireland’s annual awards bash on Monday.

Winner of the award in 2011, Hurricane Fly beat a stellar list of nominations, including Classic winners Dawn Approach and Magician, dual Group 1 winner Declaration Of War, and leading jump stars Quevega and Sir Des Champs.

Hurricane Fly’s trainer Willie Mullins was also among the winners at the awards lunch staged at Leopardstown racecourse, scooping the National Hunt award from fellow trainer Tony Martin and jockeys Davy Russell, Ruby Walsh and Bryan Cooper.

Johnny Murtagh was a popular winner of the Flat award, as he was recognised for his achievements both in the saddle and as a trainer in 2013.

Murtagh’s big-race wins in the saddle this year include Chicquita’s Irish Oaks success and Novellist’s impressive King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes victory, while he also rode and trained Champions Long Distance Cup winner Royal Diamond.

Jockey Barry Cash, who nine years after partnering Brave Inca to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle was back among the Festival winners with Big Shu in March, was awarded the outstanding achievement award, while Jim Bolger was recognised for his contribution to the industry.

Racecourse of the Year went to Dundalk, as selected by the Racegoers Consultative Forum based upon the best all-round customer experience.

HRI award winners:

Racehorse of the Year: Hurricane Fly

National Hunt Award: Willie Mullins

Flat Award: Johnny Murtagh

Outstanding Achievement: Barry Cash

Point to Point Award: Jamie Codd

Contribution to the Industry: Jim Bolger

Racecourse of the Year: Dundalk

Source: Racing Post 9 December 2013

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